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Oil

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You can drill for oil if it's available in your city. These can be sold for profit, or turned into other commodities. This article covers unlocking the Petroleum HQ building and upgrading it.

The following sections can be found in this article:

  • Cities with Oil
  • Unlocking the Petroleum HQ
  • Upgrading the Petroleum HQ
  • Supply Chain Problems
  • There is a complete listing of the natural resources of each of the base game cities in the following article:

  • Natural Resources Listed by City
  • Unlocking the Petroleum HQ

    You will need to mine 9,600 barrels of oil to unlock the Petroleum HQ. Each pump jack generates 1,200 barrels of oil when working at maximum capacity, so adding 7 additional pump jacks to an oil well should provide you with enough to unlock the HQ.

    Did you know that the Petroleum HQ can provide freight shipping for nearby industrial zones?

    Upgrading the Petroleum HQ

    The following is a guide to upgrading the Petroleum specialization headquarters.

    Petroleum HQ Upgrade #1: $160,000

    Generating $160,000 in daily profit from oil means you'll need to drill for approximately 17,800 barrels of oil per day (assuming a global market value of $9,000 per 1000 barrels). This can be achieved with two oil wells which have been fully expanded.

    Petroleum HQ Upgrade #2: $700,000

    There are two modules available once you upgrade the Petroleum HQ as follows:

  • Commerce Division - unlocks the Trade Port plus oil storage lot
  • Unlocking the trade port is very useful for providing better storage and allowing importing and exporting of goods by boat and by rail (so you don't have to deal with delivery trucks stuck in traffic getting in and out of the city). Nevertheless it is perhaps the less useful of the two modules in that you can achieve the same thing by placing and upgrading the Trade HQ. Upgrading the Trade HQ will take a slightly larger quantity of profit, however it can be achieved by trading any type of materials, not just those based on oil products.

    Refining Division - unlocks the refinery

    The refinery allows you to create plastic and fuel from crude oil. Both these commodities sell for a higher amount of profit than oil, making it a fairly essential upgrade in order to achieve the second and third HQ upgrades.

    It is of course possible to simply expand your oil drilling operation to sell more in order to meet the second upgrade requirement, however there are not many cities which have a sufficient area of oil reserves that allow you to build enough wells to pump the (approximately) 75,000 barrels of oil per day that this amount of profit requires.

    Petroleum HQ Upgrade #3: $2,000,000

    In order to get this last upgrade you will need to convert the oil to a higher profit commodity because there are no cities with enough area of oil reserves to manage this amount of profit. You can import oil to subsidize what you have once it begins to run out, however this does requires you to have more refineries to offset the cost. You also have the option to sell plastic generated from the recycling plant to add to your profit.

    Product Quantity required to produce $2,000,000 profit /day Number of Wells / Refineries
    Oil 222,222 (at $9,000 /1000 barrels) 24 wells
    Plastic 95,240 (at $21,000 /1000 crates) 9 wells, 10 refineries
    Fuel 55,172 (at $36,250 /1000 barrels) 6 wells, 6 refineries

    This assumes all wells running at optimum rate, if you are running out of resources then this will mean importing some or all of your oil, since the cost of imported oil will also count against your profit, you'll be required to make even more of your final product to make the $2,000,000.

    Store & Flood

    A common suggestion for getting to the demanding level 3 upgrades, is to set your storage depots to 'use locally' until they are full of the products you want to sell. Once the clock hits midnight, set them to export.

    This tactic certainly can make all the difference if your production falls short of the amount required, however it does require available delivery trucks and clear roads (or rail / shipping connections on your trade ports). If your trucks spend half the night trying to get back into the city then you won't benefit from the extra goods. It also requires your city not to go bankrupt whilst you wait for goods to accumilate. This can be challenging if your city budget runs consistently in the red.

    Supply Chain Problems

    Oil has the simplest supply chains of all the commodities. Unlike smelting alloy and creating electronics products, there is a single material going in and for both plastic and fuel, a single product coming out. Each also has a 1:1 ratio of raw material to output product. To make it easier still, the maxiumum output of an oil well is the same as the maximum output of the refinery, so for every one refinery you will need one well. If you need more refineries than you can place wells, then you know you will need to import oil and expand your refineries accordingly.

    Maintain a balance of mines, factories & storage

    Even though the ratios for oil are straightforward, it is still important to maintain these ratios in your raw material and end product storage. If you have more fuel storage depots than oil, it's likely that the fuel storage will simply cost money unnecessarily or the oil will be constantly over-filled, causing your wells to cease production.

    Avoid traffic problems

    Keeping your city's population down will help your traffic more than anything else. De-zoning areas around major routes will also help reduce that dreaded highway gridlock. Removing 4-way intersections is always a good idea. There is also one more trick which is largely exclusive to cities that have oil, which is you can create entire road networks using the oil well service road, these can only be used by trade vehiclees (any trade vehicles).

    You can also reduce reliance on trucks by making the most of the trade port. Adding rail terminals or cargo docks means as long as your final product makes it to the trade port, you are guarenteed to get those products out and profit in.

    Unfilled jobs = inefficiency

    The oil industry will require large quantities of low wealth workers and has no education requirements. The refineries will, however, want a small number of medium wealth and high wealth employees too. They will be less inclined to whine about worker shortages, and will work more efficiently if you can provide them with the workers they need.

    1 oil well, 1 refinery and the Petroleum HQ will require 1280 low wealth workers, 640 medum wealth workers and 212 high wealth workers from nearby residential areas

    Aside from providing workers, having the correct quantity of residential housing for workers in accessible areas also helps ease trafffic congestion as oil workers can walk to work from nearby houses. Unlike mining oil wells are relatively clean, they generate very little pollution, however they do have a negative impact on land value which you will need to work around in order to create enough high wealth housing.

    For more information:

  • Roads & Mass Transit: Overview
  • Roads & Mass Transit: Road Layout
  • Zoning: Wealth Levels
  • Government: Understanding Data Maps
  • Education
  • Parks: Happiness, Wealth & Land Value
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